A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Madhya Pradesh advised a journalist to go to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan when asked about high inflation and skyrocketing fuel prices in the country. The district unit chief of the BJP in Katni district, Ramratan Payal, further said questions were being asked about petrol prices at a time when the third wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic was about to hit the country.
The BJP functionary and his supporters surrounding him, however, were neither maintaining any social distance nor wearing masks, the bare minimum requirements prescribed by the government to combat the spread of the pandemic.
In a video that has now gone viral on social media, a local reporter was seen seeking Payal’s comment on price rise and petrol rates when the latter, seemingly losing his cool, said, “Take it from the Taliban. Petrol is ₹50 (per litre) in Afghanistan, but there’s no one to use it. Go and get your refill from there. At least there is safety here.”
When further prodded over high inflation, Payal said, “A third wave of the coronavirus is likely to hit the country and you are talking about petrol. What crisis the country is going through (can’t you see).”
The price of petrol has touched ₹100 a litre, while diesel rates have nearly touched ₹90 in most states across the country. The just-concluded Parliament session saw several disruptions with the Opposition seeking discussions on the inflation and rising fuel prices in the country.
Meanwhile, Payal was not the first BJP leader to advise people to move to Afghanistan. His party colleague in Bihar, Haribhushan Thakur also urged everyone who felt any sort of fear in India to go to the war-torn state, while adding petrol and diesel prices are cheaper there.
According to an NDTV report, the legislator from Bisfi constituency said the crisis in the neighbouring country where the Taliban have returned to power after 20 years would not have any effect on India.
“It would not have any impact on India but those who feel scared here can go there… petrol and diesel are cheaper. Once there, they will understand the value of India,” he was quoted as saying.